There is some news filtering out that Hoshino has informed the Commissioner of the NPB that he has no interest in managing at the World Baseball Classic next March.
After last week's WBC Organizational Meetings, it appeared as though Hoshino was a shoe-in to lead Japan at the World Baseball Classic. But after word "leaked out" that Hoshino would likely return to the helm to manage Team Japan, the critics returned and the bashing machine started right back up.
What makes matters worse (at least IMHO) is how much all of this is affecting Hoshino's family. His daughters are worried about his health and emotional-state, his grandson is apparently being teased at school, and while his granddaughter is still too young to understand what's going on, all the negative energy surrounding the Hoshino household right now can't be good.
So in the end, it would appear that Hoshino has picked his family over baseball. And rightly so. In a country where the job usually comes first, it's actually quite refreshing. But to see him bow out like this... It's just sad and depressing. I've never been a huge fan of his, but no one deserves to be treated like this.
All this now begs the question, who will the Commissioner turn to? Nomura? Ochiai? Hara?
At this point, Nomura may be the only man who can do this without getting his head served on a silver platter the minute Team Japan suffers it's first loss -- he's got thick-skin AND the respect of pretty much everyone involved in baseball (fans and players alike). The other two, I don't feel quite as confident about.
The only problem is, would Nomura now accept the position, after it was more or less turned down by Oh and Hoshino? Or will pride (or whatever else) get in the way?
It's sort of a moot point now, but Yuka Fuji was carrying a story about how Ichiro, Matsuzaka, and Aoki were all against Hoshino being named manager. I'm not sure if it was necessarily against Hoshino the manager as much as it was about how the press was labeling this as a chance for Hoshino to exact "revenge." To them, this isn't about revenge. The Olympics are over. The World Baseball Classic is a whole new ball game (no pun intended) and should be handled as such. And having Hoshino around might not allow that to happen.
イチロー、松坂に続き青木もÂ…広がるアンチ星野の波 Yukan Fuji